S E M I N A R IDepartament d'Astronomia i Astrofísica
Universitat de València
Supermassive black holes and relativistic jets in active galaxies
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany
Seminari del departament d'Astronomia i Astrofísica
Divendres 12 novembre 2010
Active galactic nuclei (AGN) powered by accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes (SMBH) are the most powerful sources of energy in the Universe. The bulk of this energy is channeled through broad-band emission and collimated outflows (jets). Relativistic jets, formed in the vicinity of central SMBH in AGN, show ample evidence connecting them to physical conditions in the AGN, particularly in the accretion disc and broad-line region. Imaging and polarimetry of radio emission from relativistic jets on finest angular scales provided by radio interferometry offers a range of possibilities for studying extreme vicinity of SMBH. This provides an excellent tool for probing the physical conditions in the extreme vicinity of SMBH and in the nuclearregions of active galaxies. Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) experiments at millimetre wavelengths and with ground-space interferometers approach now a resolution sufficient to image the event horizon scales in the SMBH of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Recent results and prospects of studies of supermassive black holes and their vicinity with millimetre VLBI and space VLBI experiments will be discussed, with particular focus brought on detecting general relativity effects in the immediate vicinity of SMBH and answering the fundamental question of the physical nature of the central massive objects in galaxies.